In the spring of 2018, I was solo-parenting our daughters while my husband was deployed. I spent some time watching too many Netflix documentaries and I decided that I really needed to make some changes! I started making reusable/drawstring bags and stockpiling reusable grocery bags so that I could cut down on my plastic consumption while I figured out some next steps.
When I lived in Ontario we had an amazing curb side recycling & compost program. They picked up paper, cardboard, tin, plastics, and there was municipal compost for all of our food waste and anything biodegradable. In New Brunswick, most of the things that we had been recycling or composting for over a decade are still heading to the landfill.
I decided to start by ordering a compost bin so that I could keep some food and paper waste out of the garbage can and start towards some rich compost I could use in the future. I thought it was something simple I could start and then plan for big changes in the coming year.
I had been filling in my hubby, long-distance, on all of the crazy plans I had to reduce our household waste and he was supportive but hesitant. I made a list of what I considered do-able and easy to get started:
- Make & sell reusable bags ✔️
- Bring reusable bags/coffee mugs ✔️
- Start/commit to composting ✔️
- Get recycle bins for cardboard/plastic ✔️
Fast-forward to today – over a year into this overhaul of our wasteful life. We definitely aren’t perfect (I often choose convenience over the environment when I’m packing school lunches) but I have believe that each individual choice, each time I buy fresh, unpackaged veggies or remember my reusable bags – it makes an impact. I cringe when I use single-use coffee cups or when someone complains about our new carbon tax. I made some goals for 2019 and I’m excited to have already ticked a couple off!
- Use less gas (carbon tax) ✔️
- Buy and install rain barrel ✔️
- Get a raised bed/plant some food ✔️
- Get the whole family involved
- Buy fresh at markets
- Model & advocate for change
So, what do you say? Are you going to let your circumstances, your budget, or your family & friends keep you from chasing something you’re passionate about? Can you keep the fear of failure or imperfection from stopping you?
What about our planet? Can you find a way to do your part – to stop wasting limited resources and try to make a change?